Lara Lee Hogg, Jose “Pepe” Briseño, and his brother, Alfonso, wrapped up the month of April at the World Series of Team Roping Qualifier event produced by Mike Crouch’s European Team Roping Championship in Voghera, Italy.
Hogg, an Argyle, Texas, header, had roped with Crouch after reading about his ropings and deciding to gift her daughter—a then high-school graduate and fellow roper—a cowboy trip to Italy.
“It’s really social,” Hogg said of the ETRC ropings. “I mean, it’s social in the States, too, but there, they usually serve some kind of meal at the jackpots, and it’s really a gathering of people. Don’t get me wrong—they’re still very competitive and it’s a really good roping; really well produced. And, just like here in the States, if you need something, the people there will let you use it. People were very generous.”
For Briseño, who runs a Dublin, Texas, cattle-leasing business, learning of Hogg’s plans presented a great opportunity for him and his brother to get to that roping he’d seen so many flyers for over the years.
“I loved it,” Briseño said. “We stayed in Europe for 15 days, so we had a whole week after the roping to visit. There was a roper from France, so we visited him at his ranch, and we went to Switzerland on our way to meet some German ropers.”
As a cattleman, Briseño expressed a great appreciation for the steers used, too.
“We roped Maremmana at the Qualifier,” said Briseño, who has roped in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and was at a roping school in Puerto Rico for this interview, “and they were fresh, 600-pound steers, every day. Then, at a different roping, we roped French Camargue cattle, and they’re like 300 pounds and pretty wild.”
“A roping is a roping,” Hogg concluded, as she admitted to already buying tickets for her and her two daughters to rope in the German WSTR Qualifier this month. “No matter if you’re in Texas or in Italy, the roping language is the same.”